Falling, and Rising Again

“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.: - Proverbs 24:16
Could it be that the Proverbs contain prophecy? Perhaps, but certainly the verse quoted above can be applied to the Apostle Peter. Peter was a just man, but he also fell several times. Possibly his most egregious failure was when he denied knowing the Lord Jesus, an event that caused him much distress.

Here are Peter’s seven fallings:

  1. When walking on the water, Peter took his eyes off of the Lord Jesus and lost faith, and began to sink. (Matthew 14:29)
  2. When the Lord Jesus revealed to the Disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and be killed, Peter took Him aside and said something like, “This is not going to happen.” Jesus rebuked Peter. (Matthew 16:22-23)
  3. Shortly thereafter, Peter was one of three Disciples with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter suggested the building of three tabernacles to honor Moses, Elijah and Jesus, raising the two men to the same level as the Lord Jesus. Peter was rebuked by the Lord from Heaven, who said, “listen to my son.” (Matthew 17:4-5)
  4. In the Garden of Gethsemane, where the Lord Jesus prayed knowing what He would soon face, when He returned He found Peter asleep. Jesus asked, “Could you not watch one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)
  5. When Judas led the guards to arrest Jesus, Peter again attempted to stop the Lord’s foreordained plan by attacking them and subsequently cutting off the ear of Malchus. The Lord Jesus replaced the ear. (Luke 22:51, John 18:10)
  6. Not long thereafter, Peter three times denied knowing the Lord Jesus, as Jesus had prophesied. (Matthew 26:75)
  7. Peter would eat with Gentiles until there were Jews around, then he would not. Paul confronted Peter and criticized him for being hypocritical. (Galatians 2:11-13)
It is reassuring to know that Peter was not a perfect man and was not without failings, just as we all are. But the Lord used this just man, who failed at least seven times, to deliver the great and powerful message of salvation on the day of Pentecost. Peter, the fallen man, was the natural leader of the Disciples.

Peter proved the accuracy of the proverb. He is also an example of the wonderful grace of our Heavenly Father. I, personally, am so thankful for His mercy and grace. May the name of the Lord be blessed and praised forever!

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